The AirPods absolutely dominate the wireless Bluetooth earbuds category. But despite Apple essentially inventing the category and now leading it, the AirPods are far from perfect. Despite all the features that AirPods pack, Apple has made its water-resistance capabilities a bit of a mystery. Are the AirPods sweat- or water-resistant or not?
Given that AirPods would be used by many while working out, sweat-resistance is definitely an important aspect. Apple’s spec page does not talk about the water-resistant capabilities of the AirPods as well. That’s true for the original AirPods as well as the recently released AirPods 2. But then people frequently use their AirPods in the gym without any issues and for many, their AirPods have survived a wash in the washing machine as well. Does that make the AirPods water-resistant?
Are the AirPods Water-Resistant?
No, they are not. Both first and second generation AirPods are not water-resistant. They do not carry an IP certification which means they are not dust or water-resistant. What this means is that you should not expect your AirPods to survive a dip in the swimming pool or expose it to any form of liquid for an extended period of time.
Are the AirPods Sweat-Resistant?
Sadly, no. The lack of any kind of IP certification means the AirPods are not sweat-resistant as well. This does not mean you cannot use the AirPods while working out. Until and unless you sweat a lot or are into some form of heavy training which makes you sweat like a pig, you can wear your AirPods without any worries.
Many people have reported that their AirPods have survived a washing machine wash but that does not make them water-resistant. It is just the way that Apple has engineered the AirPods that it is able to survive a limited amount of exposure to any kind of liquid. You can rest assured that your AirPods will certainly not survived being dipped in the pool or if you spill a glass of water over them.
The lack of any kind of water and sweat-resistance means that if you ever end up liquid damaging your AirPods, Apple is not going to replace it for you under warranty.
If you want truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds for your iPhone which are sweat-resistant, you should check out the Powerbeats Pro. It is offered by Apple itself just under the Beats branding. It has a slightly different (ear hook) design when compared to the AirPods but offers better sound quality, longer battery life, and is certified sweat-resistant.
What this means is that you can use the Powerbeats Pro without worrying about any kind of liquid damage while working out. In fact, Apple itself markets the Powerbeats Pro for athletes, with its longer battery life vs the AirPods 2 being another plus. The Powerbeats Pro do lose out on a wireless charging case like the AirPods but given the longer battery life that it offers, I doubt many people are going to complain about it.
The better sound quality, sweat-resistance, and longer battery life offered by the Powerbeats Pro do come at a cost though. It is priced notably higher than the AirPods which starts at $159. In comparison, the Powerbeats Pro comes is priced at $249.95. They are not yet on sale but will hit the market before the end of this month.